If there ever was an actor with genuine talent who was seemingly cursed by being too good looking it’s Brad Pitt. It limits a huge chunk of the roles he probably could’ve taken over the years; no one will want to see him in a romantic comedy, or anything romantic, because no one will want for root for one of the world’s most handsome men to get the girl. Thus his role selection is always one of the more fascinating ones of modern leading men. He has to take specific roles in order to connect with an audience; it’s hard to be Pitt as an a-lister because there’s only a handful of leading role types he excels at because of his good looks.
Thus a film like Fury fits into his wheelhouse.
Pitt stars as Wardaddy, a tank commander in April 1945. It’s World War II and he’s part of the European theater of war for the Allies. Behind enemy lines, and in a tank with a rookie driver (Logan Lerman) and a crew of misfits (Michael Pena, Jay Bernthal, Shia LaBeouf), Wardaddy is tasked with a seemingly impossible task to keep his men alive when the odds say otherwise.
It’s an interesting role choice for Pitt, who plays Wardaddy as a grizzled man just trying to survive the war. His only task is to keep his men alive, nothing more, and Pitt uglies it up for the role. He looks like he hasn’t bathed in months, is covered in grime and has the look of a man who has seen things men were not designed to see. Wardaddy would be a guy you would meet in Saving Private Ryan; he’s a man who’s been hardened by war but still has a basic humanity to him. It’s an interesting comparison to Pitt’s previous high profile film role in Inglorious Basterds. Lt. Aldo Raines was more of a caricature as opposed to this role, which is much more grounded in reality.
Unfortunately Raines was a worse character in a better film.
Fury is a character driven story about what happens to men when faced with the crucible of war … but without the character development. Ayer drops us into their world after the most interesting things, of a war that has irrevocably changed them, and follows them after the big changes of their lives. We get to see them after, not before or during, and as such it’s fairly dull. The better film about tank fighting men was the Israeli film Lebanon in 2009 because it gave you the feeling of men trapped, isolated in a war that will change them.
Fury wants to give you that same feeling, of how being a tanker in war can change someone, but it takes place after everything that can change a man has happened. It leaves the film feeling more like the final act in an epic war trilogy than a standalone film about tankers in war.
About an hour of deleted scenes are included.
Columbia presents Fury. Written And Directed by David Ayer. Starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, Logan Lerman, Jay Bernthal. Run Time: 135 minutes Rated R. Released on DVD: 1.27.2015
Tags: David Ayer, Fury, Jay Bernthal, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Pitt, Shia LaBeouf